The Best Coastal Road Trips: Discover Europe's Five Most Beautiful Driving Routes

Planning a road-trip summer getaway? You're in the right place. Here, we recommend some of the best coastal road trips in Europe for spontaneous driving enthusiasts. On these routes, the journey itself is the destination – an opportunity to truly experience the breathtaking beauty and unique character of Europe's most impressive coastlines. Let our tips inspire you to craft your own personal driving adventure along Europe's most spectacular coastal and beach roads.

Five Road Trips Along Europe's Stunning Coastal Routes

We've summarised the key information and highlights of these coastal road trips, leaving detailed planning to you so you can adapt your trip to your preferences. The actual route length may vary depending on detours inland and route variations. Journey times can also differ from our estimates, as each route invites you to stop frequently and capture magical moments with your camera or simply soak in the scenery.

1. Causeway Coastal Route, Northern Ireland: A Coastal Road with Endless Highlights

Discover the Causeway Coastal Route with the Hyundai Driving Experience Guide. Northern Ireland beckons with mystical legends and enchanting landscapes. It's no wonder the lush, green island is a popular filming location. But why only see it on your TV or the cinema screen when you can experience it live? A driving experience along the Causeway Coastal Route offers spectacular views and is considered one of the world's most beautiful coastal roads. Alongside rocky coastlines, eerie castle ruins, and picturesque fishing villages, the route features pristine sandy beaches. Carnlough Harbour, Ballintoy Harbour, and Portstewart Beach are three ‘Game of Thrones’ filming locations along the way. At the northern end, you'll be awestruck. Spectacular basalt cliffs emerge from the wildly foaming Atlantic like a gigantic staircase – you've arrived at the Giant's Causeway.

Set off along the Causeway Coastal Route with this edition of the Hyundai Driving Experience (HDX) Guide and our tips – and look forward to many unforgettable impressions and encounters.

Route: From Belfast to Londonderry in Northern Ireland. Caution: Left-hand traffic is the rule here!

Length: Approximately 220 kilometres

Driving time: Around 3 hours 50 minutes

The HDX Coastal Road Trip Guide tips:

  • Before you set off, you should definitely explore the Titanic Belfast Museum, where the story of the famous ship is told. It's a good thing your route takes you over the road and not the water!
  • Take a short detour to the Dark Hedges, a hollow path surrounded by beech trees, located between Armoy and Stranocum inland.
  • Enjoy a hearty Full Irish Breakfast and skip lunch – fried eggs, bacon, sausages, potato pancakes, grilled tomatoes, baked beans, and Irish bread will fill you up!

2. Coastal Route from San Sebastián to Bilbao, Northern Spain

Embark on the breathtaking coastal road trip from San Sebastián to Bilbao with the Hyundai Driving Experience (HDX) Guide. This route along the picturesque Basque Country coast offers unrivalled natural beauty, cultural richness and delectable cuisine – the perfect ingredients for an unforgettable HDX adventure.

Starting in San Sebastian, famous for its first-class pintxos (tapas) and the picturesque bay of La Concha, the coastal route heads west and opens up spectacular views of the sea. The road winds through charming villages where you can enjoy fresh fish directly at the harbour and stroll through the cobbled streets. The landscape is characterised by dramatic cliffs, green hills and hidden bays. In the village of Lekeitio, it is worth making a detour to the island of San Nicolás, which can be reached on foot at low tide and offers wonderful views. The journey ends in Bilbao, a city that has undergone an impressive transformation in recent decades. Known for the iconic Guggenheim Museum by architect Frank Gehry, Bilbao uniquely combines modern art and architecture with traditional Basque culture.

Route: From San Sebastián along the Basque coast to Bilbao, Spain

Length: 169 kilometres

Driving time: Around 3 hours 30 minutes

The HDX Coastal Road Trip Guide tips:

  • Start your journey by tackling the twisting climbs out of San Sebastián in your Hyundai, putting the capable handling and responsive engine to the test.
  • Explore the legendary Flysch cliffs on a detour to Zumaia and discover what these rock layers reveal about the dinosaur extinction.
  • Visit the San Juan de Gaztelugatxe monastery in the Bay of Biscay. Remember to get an online ticket in advance.

3. The Glamorous Côte d'Azur Coastal Route, French Riviera

Discover the French Riviera's blend of glamour and stunning coastal scenery with the Hyundai Driving Experience Coastal Road Trip Guide. The coastal road trip along the French Côte d'Azur is one of the most beautiful panoramic roads in Europe: it takes you through famous places such as Nice and Cannes, offering the opportunity for a detour to Provence and exploring the small, fine principality of Monaco and the harbour metropolis of Marseille. The route in between will inspire you again and again with fantastic views of the Mediterranean and the colourful hustle and bustle of the marinas. In addition, it is definitely worth making a stopover or two, whether at the beautiful cafés on the beach promenades, famous beach clubs or legendary locations such as the Cannes Festival Theatre, the Citadel of Saint Tropez or Mont Faron, from where you have a fantastic view of Toulon. Immerse yourself in the multifaceted city life of Marseille or explore the beautiful old town of Aix-en-Provence a little further inland.

Route: Coastal road from Nice via Cannes, Saint-Tropez, and Toulon to Marseille

Length: 240 kilometres

Driving time: Around 4 hours 50 minutes

The HDX Coastal Road Trip Guide tips:

  • Begin your journey by carving through the Cape Nice roads, a perfect opportunity to experience your Hyundai's precise handling.
  • Take time for a stroll along Nice's seafront promenade or enjoy the view from the Colline du Château, the famous vantage point overlooking the coast and rooftops of Nice.
  • Discover Monte Carlo along the renowned Circuit de Monaco, where Formula 1 holds the Monaco Grand Prix annually – right in the city centre.

4. Along the Amalfitana on the Italian Coast

The Amalfitana is undoubtedly one of Europe's most beautiful road trips, even if it's a relatively short coastal road. The Strada Statale SS163 Amalfitana runs along the Gulf of Sorrento coast, connecting the towns of Amalfi and Salerno via Positano and Vietri sul Mare. The twisting Amalfitana coastal road demands a capable vehicle with agile handling – perfect for putting your Hyundai through its paces!

Coming from Naples, you'll reach the Amalfitana via the Strada Statale SS145 southbound. The coastal route takes you through picturesque villages where colourfully painted houses nestle against steep cliffs. In between are sandy bays and picturesque harbours where, time and again, you'll be taken aback by the marvellous views of the Mediterranean. The tight bends and reasonably narrow roads make this route a little more challenging, but experienced drivers will find it easy and fun to master. During high season, patience is sometimes required on this popular coastal road, giving you more time to marvel at the impressive region.

Route: Coastal road between Amalfi and Salerno on the Gulf of Sorrento, Italy

Length: Approximately 50 kilometres

Driving time: Around 1 hour 45 minutes

The HDX Coastal Road Trip Guide tips:

  • The Amalfitana is one of Europe's most beautiful scenic coastal roads and therefore very popular. Check in advance for any restrictions on the route, which can include license-plate-based restrictions during busy periods. When this system is in place, only vehicles with even-numbered license plates can pass on even dates; on odd dates, it's the other way around.
  • Start your drive by conquering the serpentine uphill sections out of Naples, feeling the power of your Hyundai on the climbing curves.
  • Experience the marvellous cliffs from the water, too. When you finally arrive in Sorrento after all the hairpin bends and extreme climbs, take a boat tour along the Amalfi Coast or admire the impressive Mount Vesuvius with its volcanic cone, which can be seen from the Gulf of Naples.

5. Wild and Romantic Coastal Route in Norway

In northern Norway, one of Europe's most beautiful road trips invites you to experience the archipelago landscape. This incredible coastal road trip route features jaw-dropping bridges and island-hopping – the perfect setting for an HDX driving adventure.

The Atlantic Road – Atlanterhavsveien in Norwegian – runs along the west coast between the fishing village of Bud and the town of Kristiansund. The eight spectacular bridges connecting the archipelago islands of Skarvøya, Eldhusøya, and Geitøya begin shortly after the village of Vevang. Until the Atlantic Road's opening in 1989, these islands were only accessible by ferry. The bridges form high crests, behind which the road seems to plunge into the Atlantic. No other route offers such an authentic feeling of Norway's wild and romantic landscape amidst the roaring Atlantic. There are few opportunities to stop for refreshments along the Atlantic Road, but the town of Kristiansund offers a good selection of cafés and restaurants.

Route: Along the Norwegian west coast between the fishing village of Bud and the town of Kristiansund.

Note: Check in advance as the route may be closed due to extreme weather conditions.

Length: Approximately 65 kilometres

Driving time: Around 1 hour

The HDX Coastal Road Trip Guide tips:

  • Take your time to explore the picturesque places between Vevang and Kårvåg, enjoy the marvellous views, and soak in the wild landscape carved by wind and water.
  • On the picturesque bridges themselves, experience the thrill of driving across the rolling crests, with the ocean waves crashing below.
  • The Atlantic Road in Norway has inspired filmmakers. James Bond fans will undoubtedly recognise it: James Bond has a spectacular chase with his opponent on the largest bridge, Storseisundbrua, in "No Time to Die".

Whether cruising along stunning coastal roads or pushing your driving skills to the limit, Hyundai offers unforgettable adventures behind the wheel.

After exploring Europe's best and most breathtaking coastal routes, elevate your driving passion at legendary racetracks like Nürburgring, Nordschleife and Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia. HDX provides expert instruction and high-performance vehicles to help you master advanced driving techniques in a thrilling and safe environment.

Discover your driving potential with HDX's adrenaline-fueled track experiences across Europe, and follow us on Instagram for more exciting motorsport content.